By Michael Giles
LET’S make this as clear as we possibly can – we love Burra Foods!
The community of Korumburra and district is delighted with what the firm has been able to achieve here since it arrived in the town in 1991.
The growth in jobs, the prosperity in the town, the new housing, the support of local organisations and the fact that they have added another dimension to the dairy industry, not only in Gippsland, but also on the trading scene for Australia, are all strong pluses.
Certainly when there were issues associated with emissions, odour and noise, outside of the firm’s operating conditions, and when the authorities failed to enforce the planning and regulatory conditions; these issues needed to be addressed.
And the fact that nearby local residents were not protected by the authorities was an issue and remains a significant concern to them.
But any negative sentiment towards Burra Foods needs to be balanced against the over-riding support for their operations here and also for their plans to grow their plant and us along with it.
Of course we want to see that what they do have planned goes through the proper planning processes and the appropriate conditions are applied and enforced but if it’s possible to accommodate their plans and protect the amenity of the residents, then we’re all for it.
And we would encourage the firm to test the level of support locally by including us in your plans for growth in the future.
What we would be very concerned about is if the legitimate concerns of a few residents, largely that the proper processes are followed, prompted the firm to think less of Korumburra as an option before they first tested the water here, where they are already firmly established and where the community already understands their needs and processes.